A melancholy but unashamed queer ballad. The film takes place in a hospital, an apartment and a dark room, where a corpulent, gray-haired Pedro tells his lovers to call themselves Greta Garbo. Reckless, flirtatious and jealous, he is a fading diva—but a diva nonetheless. He works as a nurse. For Pedro, taking care of the sick is an expression of a sense of duty, but also of desire and appropriation. He introduces his own system at the hospital. In order to free up a bed in the men’s ward for a transgender woman named Daniela, he helps a killer escape, thus running the risk of becoming an accessory to a crime. Director Armando Praça plays with references to Grand Hotel (dir. Edmund Goulding, 1932), which starred Greta Garbo as an aging ballerina who kept saying that she only wanted to be left alone, which was interpreted as a commentary about the advent of sound in film. Here, she is replaced by a lonely, overweight gay man who imagines that he is a lithe dancer in the twilight of his career. Are his golden years of sex and success already behind him? Greta shows how Pedro looks intimacy equally with patients, random men and a dying friend.
Armando Praça makes his directorial debut with a full-length feature based on his own script. Earlier, he worked as an actor and assistant director on several Brazilian productions. He has also written several episodes of the Me Chama de Bruna series about a blogging prostitute. His series Meninas to Benfica, about young women with important positions in contemporary political life in Brazil, is set to premiere any day. Praça’s unashamed Greta was presented at this year’s Berlinale, where it was nominated for a Teddy Award.
2019 Nazywam się Greta / Greta